Pisani still a ways off

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Had Fernando Pisani passed his latest physical with flying colours there was an outside chance he could have been in the lineup for the Edmonton Oilers Monday in Los Angeles.

But he didn't and he won't after being put through the paces in Edmonton on Wednesday, while the rest of the team was in Colorado.

"He's got a ways to go," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "I think we expected that. Fernie was maybe a bit more optimistic, but there were some areas in his testing that we have to see some improvement in before we think of getting him into a game."

Pisani, 30, has not played for the Oilers this season after a bad bout with ulcerative colitis in the off-season.

He battled back from the sickness and appeared close to making his comeback next week.

"I haven't talked to Fernie specifically, but it's doubtful," MacTavish said.

"Experience tells you that patience is the best mindset to have when dealing with injured players. I've never been entirely happy with the way players play when they're rushed back.

"You want to set the player up so he can have an immediate impact and you want to make sure that he's physically ready to do that before we put him in the game."

Regardless, the Oilers should be getting some bodies back in the lineup in December. Along with Pisani, Sheldon Souray is still recovering from a separated shoulder, Ethan Moreau has not played all year with a broken bone in his foot and Dick Tarnstrom is recovering from a concussion.

The only player who is out really long term is Matt Greene, who's recovering from a broken ankle.


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